By Brandon Kidwell

By Brandon Kidwell

A palliative nurse recorded the most common regrets of the dying and put her findings into a book called The Top Five Regrets of The Dying. Here’s what she found:
  1. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
  2. “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
  3. “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”
  4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
  5. “I wish that I had let myself be happier.”
If you’re not careful, work can consume all of your waking hours. And before you know it, life will pass you by. Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith turned down a $500 million acquisition, because he felt that it would negatively impact his family, himself, and ultimately his happiness (the company is now worth more than $1 billion). This moment compelled him to re-evaluate how he approaches work-life balance, and led him to create a weekly ritual:

Each week, I examine the categories of my life — father, husband, CEO, self — and identify the specific actions that help me feel successful and fulfilled in these capacities. This weekly ritual helps me feel like I’m doing everything in my power to address my needs and the needs of those around me. This is important because I can’t lose sight of the business agenda, and we’ve all seen or read about what it looks like when you lose sight of your family’s needs.

A hidden cost in the pursuit of success is your life’s goals. By breaking life goals into weekly tasks, you’ll avoid waking up one day only to realize that you’ve let major priorities slip.

  • Monika Pabijańska. archetika

    Wow! I would say even more. We should break it in a daily tasks.

    • Adam Thomas

      I think once you break it down into the weekly tasks, you can’t help but get some daily tasks going.

      This is a wonderful idea. Getting that 30,000 foot view of what is really important to finding out what we really need to be applying our time to. We often put the blinders on, but if we don’t stop and pay attention, we may find we have run the wrong way (Word to Wil Reynolds dope talk @ the conference)

  • Carol Maskus

    There is a classic book on this subject: How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life. The author has a system for exactly that–breaking down life goals weekly. I use it from time to time, and so far it has helped me make more time for enjoyment. We can forget to enjoy life.

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